Morning Headlines - Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Putin Rains Down 120 Missiles On Ukraine

Air raid sirens rang out across Ukraine this morning as Russia unleashed around 120 missiles in a savage barrage which targeted the capita Kyi and several other major cities.

'A massive air raid. More than 100 missiles in several waves,' presidential office adviser Oleksiy Arestovych wrote on Facebook, while another adviser Mykhailo Podolyak claimed more than 120 missiles had been fired at Ukraine.

Mayors of the capital Kyiv, Ukraine's second city Kharkiv and the western city of Lviv all reported that Russian missiles had caused a series of explosions, while blasts were also heard in Zhytomyr, Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk, according to local media reports.

The brutal blitz came hard on the heels of the Kremlin's rejection of a Ukrainian peace plan, as both Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov insisted that Kyiv accept Russia's annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

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Santos Struggles In Fox News Interview About Lying And Integrity

Rep.-elect George Santos had a difficult time explaining away the discrepancies in his résumé during a Fox News interview with Tulsi Gabbard, who came down hard on the New York Republican for his recent controversy.

As Santos conceded that several lies he made about his credentials were “a mistake,” Gabbard — a former Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii and the guest host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” — refused to let him off the hook on Tuesday, pushing him on the definition of integrity and his “blatant lies.”

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'Disruption We've Never Seen': What's Causing The Southwest Airlines Meltdown?

A massive storm has blanketed much of the U.S. with snow, slowing air travel during a peak season and causing tens of thousands of flight cancellations. The holiday meltdown at Southwest Airlines, however, has far eclipsed its competitors.

By Wednesday afternoon, the company had canceled more than 2,500 flights planned for the day, which amounted to 62% of the day's total, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.

By contrast, as of Wednesday afternoon, United Airlines had canceled just 11 flights scheduled for the day; while American Airlines had canceled 23, FlightAware said. Each figure accounted for less than 1% of the respective company's total flights.

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Republicans Rethink Abortion Strategy After Bruising Midterms

Republicans are recalibrating their messaging on abortion after Democrats successfully used the issue to galvanize their base and win over swing voters in 2022.

While the GOP largely focused on the three-pronged message of combatting rising inflation, crime, and the flow of migrants over the southern border, exit polls showed that abortion was a top priority for voters at the ballot box.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel has attributed some of the party’s losses to candidates ignoring the issue.

“It was probably a bigger factor than a lot of people thought,” McDaniel said in an interview earlier this month with radio talk show host John Catsimatidis. “We’ve got to get conversant on that.”

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Gaming Takes Over Everything

Video games will move to the center of the entertainment and pop-culture universe next year.

Why it matters: Streaming services, Hollywood studios, tech giants — even the Saudi government — are racing to capitalize on gaming's vast and ever-expanding popularity, and its lucrative intellectual property.

Gaming movies are the biggest challenger to Hollywood’s superhero hegemony:

  • 2023 will bring "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" — a partnership between Nintendo and Illumination, the studio behind the Minions.
  • HBO’s first prestige series of 2023, mid-January's "The Last of Us," is an adaptation of a hit PlayStation video game.
  • Streaming platforms are preparing a pipeline of games-turned-shows, including adaptations of God of War, Fallout and Assassin's Creed.
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Wisconsin Headlines

Vos On Decision To Demote Brandtjen: 'She's Unqualified To Have The Job'

Wisconsin's most powerful lawmaker did not mince words when explaining his decision to strip a fellow Republican of her role leading the Assembly's elections committee.

When Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released committee assignments for the upcoming 2023-24 session, the most noticeable change involved Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls). Brandtjen went from chairing the election committee to being removed altogether.

Brandtjen had drawn criticism from lawmakers in both parties as she used the committee as a platform for conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and even issued subpoenas to local election officials that appeared to include language lifted from similar subpoena efforts in other swing states.

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Hopper Drops Out Of 8th Sd Race, Endorses Knodl

Former GOP state Sen. Randy Hopper today dropped out of the race for the 8th SD, saying he didn’t want to play a spoiler role in the crowded Republican field.

In dropping out, he endorsed Rep. Dan Knodl, R-Germantown, for the seat.

Hopper, who was recalled from his Fond du Lac area seat in 2011, announced earlier this month plans to run for the 8th SD in suburban Milwaukee, where he now lives.

But he said in a statement today the short time frame of the special election to replace former GOP Sen. Alberta Darling makes it “impossible” to mount a vigorous campaign.

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Wi Attorney General To Focus Fighting Crime, Ensuring Public Safety And Protecting Kids In 2023

Public and school safety will remain a top priority for Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul as he looks toward the new year.

Months before securing another term as Wisconsin’s Attorney General in November, Kaul submitted his upcoming budget proposal. Now he’s ready to fight for what he calls his ‘crime fighting budget’.

“We need dollars from the state. There’s a record-breaking state budget surplus and investing just a portion of that surplus in a variety of things that promote public safety I think can make a real difference,” said Kaul.

Kaul said now is the time to invest in officer recruitment and retention, community policing and violence prevention. He said an increase in shared revenue would also help with critical services.

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2022 Was A 'Historic' Year For Abortion. Now, Advocates On Both Sides Are Looking Ahead To Next Year

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade in June, it left the legality of abortion up to individual states. In Wisconsin, an abortion ban first enacted in 1849 immediately took effect, and legal abortion in the state virtually ended.

"It has been a really historic year," said Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin president and CEO Tanya Atkinson, reflecting on the changes made to the decades-long precedent of the right to an abortion.

It was an equally momentous year for people who oppose abortion. 

"June 24, 2022, is the day that pro-lifers have dreaming for decades," said Matt Sande, legislative director for ProLife Wisconsin.

Looking ahead to 2023, advocates on both sides of the issue are planning to pursue further changes to the state's laws regarding abortion.

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Wisconsin Lottery Credit On Property Tax Bills Averages $213 This Year

This month, Wisconsin homeowners received a holiday gift from the Wisconsin Lottery, according to the state's department of revenue.

The estimated $213 average credit, while slightly lower than last year's average credit of $230, is higher than the 2020 credit of $160 or the 2019 credit of $184.

"The high average Lottery Credit this year is due to another very healthy year in the Wisconsin Lottery," said Peter Barca, Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary. "Strong sales pushed the average credit above $200 once again."

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Last Update: Dec 29, 2022 6:57 am CST

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